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Natural Resources Commission Meets In Houghton

As part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Commission meets once a month to regulate and discuss topics like animal populations and ethical hunting practices.

The NRC met in Houghton on Thursday on the campus of Michigan Tech.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says it is important for the committee to keep both people and nature in mind.

“People are passionate about that, so we need to get it right. We need to meet the stakeholder’s needs while at the same time, doing the right thing for the resource,” Creagh said.

At this meeting, the commission heard presentations from DNR specialists about statistics involving different local animals.

Because of the mild winters in 2015 and 2016, it was estimated that both moose and deer populations grew.

The commission also expressed their concern with chronic wasting disease, which can degenerate the brains of deer and moose and they introduced their plans to keep CWD out of the U.P.

One proposal up for approval is to make uncommon fishing areas more common, meaning that different fishing regulations would be applied only to certain areas.

The commission, however, is running into some issues.

The National Resources Trust Fund Board grants money for recreation projects and brings those projects to legislation for approval.

Creagh says none of the projects brought forth by the board have been approved yet.  “Legislature decided to add additional projects to spend additional money out of the trust fund.”

The commission is seeking the attorney general’s opinion of the constitutionality of the action.

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